One of the hardest parts of social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak is lack of physical touch. If you’re quarantining alone, this may be the longest you’ve gone without hugging or holding another person. Physical touch is a powerful healing tool. It can calm anxiety and depression and help you sleep better. Though we are isolated from our loved ones right now, there are still things you can do to feel good. Try self-massage to release some feel-good hormones that you would get from a warm hug.
Head Massage: Release tension in your forehead and temples.
1. Pinch the bridge of your nose, just underneath your forehead with your thumb and pointer finger. Hold for 3 breathes.
2. Take your thumbs and place them just outside the bridge of your nose, on the part of your skull above your eye socket. Press firmly upwards towards your forehead. Take 3 deep breaths while holding this pressure.
3. Take both hands and pinch along your eyebrows. Breathe deeply.
4. Press your middle three fingers firmly into the sides of your temples. As you breathe deeply, add slight pressure. Move your fingers in a circular motion.
Neck Massage: We hold a lot of tension in our neck. Try these two exercises to help soften your muscles and soothe pain.
1. Put your left hand on the neck muscle located behind your left ear.
2. Gently apply pressure onto the area.
3. Slowly turn your head to the right while applying the pressure. Make sure your fingers don’t move, and that only your head rotates. Repeat on the other side.
1. Take a tennis ball and lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor.
2. Place the ball at the base of the left side of the neck, in the space where your neck and shoulder meet.
3. Hold for 30 seconds. Breathe, relax and repeat on the other side.
*If you would like more pressure, slowly lift your hips off of the ground into a “bridge pose.” If at any point the pressure becomes too much, lower your hips back to the ground.
Lower Back Massage: A lack of physical activity often causes soreness and tension in the lower back. Here’s one way to work that out:
1. Place a tennis ball between your lower back and a wall. You can also try this exercise lying on the floor, placing the ball between your back and the floor.
2. Move your body up and down, or side to side to find areas of tension.
3. Apply pressure in the tender spots to help release the tension.
Foot Massage: We’ve got thousands of little nerves in the feet and sometimes they get angry. Giving yourself a foot massage feels luxurious.
1. Either standing or sitting, place a tennis ball under the middle of your foot. and slowly roll it towards your toes and back to your heel. Repeat for a minute as you breathe.
2. Switch feet and repeat on the other side.
Extra tip: Set the mood! Light some candles, grab lotion,